1. Marie Antoinette, the journey by Antonia Fraser. Whereas the movie got all the press, I would suggest the book for a far more intense understanding of how truly crazy it was to be the Queen of France in 1777. The simultaneity of having unchecked wealth, nothing much to actually do, and no privacy of any kind in the bed chamber (getting dressed in the morning was a group affair with social hierarchy determining who was to hand the buck bare and freezing queen her under garments) was a fascinating reveal of the inner workings of France's rulers, and the actual lack of power that was afforded the head wig-wearers. Plus, how can you resist the confectionery dresses?
2. Os Mutantes at Webster Hall in July. I went to pay respect, not expecting much, as I am not a fan of the reunion vibe. But from the opening note they were so fab! The crowd was in love with them, and they were graciously dynamic, and happy to please with a run through of all the hits. Rita Lee was not on board, which I knew going in, but her more than adequate stand in orchestrated the party vibe of the live show that Brazilians do so well. ( Seu Jorge live is also super great!)
3. The Curtom Story-We're a Winner (1998) Curtom was Curtis Mayfield's label, and he extended his amazing groove to everyone he included in his stable. Curating his acts in response to the racism and lack of opportunities for acts who were not seen as Motown-friendly, The Five Stairsteps, Major Lance, Gene Chandler and Love's Children are better known in Northern Soul circles than on on our shores. Whether you know Curtis's music or not this compilation will blow your mind.
5. Love is All and Johnny Boy, carrying the flag of power-pop-remixed-via-electronica-by-Phil Spector into 2006, I'm eagerly waiting to see what is next for both of these great bands.
6. Josephine Foster A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. To me, this babe is so much more powerful and intoxicating an earth goddess than Joanna Newsom. This album is idiosyncratic, in its' covering of old German art songs, but mind bending nonetheless.
7. Vetiver To find me gone Gorgeous long ago SoCal vibe from one of Devendra Banhart's longtime band mates. So inviting and well played, i don't ever want it to end.
8. Roland P Young Isophonic Boogie Woogie Brian Turner, our esteemed music director described this disc better than I can (see the link) but I adore the free chill vibe.
9. Sibylle Baier Colour Green Even better than finding a rare record most people don't know about, Orange Twin goes one better: a release of a 30 year old record that was home recorded and never released. Sibylle recorded this on her own after a particularly downer season, but the warmth and relaxed-ness of her style wouldn't suggest it. Gorgeous.
10. Shout outs to more fab moments:
--Hey Big Bunny at the WFMU record fair-WOW! I loved every bit of it...more, please.
--Karen Dalton ~ In My Own Time, reissue
--Lights ~At midnight
--mv&ee ~Livestock Moon Forms-Rural Ragas vol 1
--Ms John Soda ~Notes and the like
--Wayfaring Strangers ~Ladies from the Canyon (various artists)
--Darondo ~Let My People Go
--Girl Monster v/a on Chicks on Speed
--Republicans with their tales between their legs, post election night. Good riddance to bad company, (no, not the band)
--All the WFMU listeners who, as usual, are the most fabulous!
Yo La Tengo ~ Mr tough, even better when they played it live at Loew's Journal square this fall
Charmaine Burnett ~( am i) the same girl
Lady Sovereign Public Warning,
OK I am truly almost done:
~Richard Tuttle retrospective at the Whitney Museum
~Amy Sillman at Sikkema Jenkins Gallery (works on paper book by Wayne Koestenbaum)
~Wunderground: Providence 1995 to the present. At the RISD museum, Providence. Until 1/7/2007. Long overdue, Killer show of the dynamic DIY printmaking scene that grew out of the music/art crossover. Don't forget to visit the giant wooden Buddha when you are there!
~Amy Cutler at List Gallery, Brown University. I just adore her work.
~Bohemian Modern Living in Silver Lake by Barbara Bestor on Regan Books. Why does every hipster in LA have a dog? And why does silver lake look like the french riviera?
~Julia Child on DVD
~Heat by Bill Buford ~the inner workings of Mario Batali's intestines and his many kitchens. eeek! great roar, until the end, when it gets a little slow.